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Summer always seems to arrive along with a new workout trend. This season, it’s all about the primal movement workout, billed as a fun way to improve strength, health and more. If you’re ready to level up your summer beach bod, here’s everything you need to know about what a primal movement workout is, why it’s a hot fitness trend, and where to try it for yourself in NYC this summer.

what’s a Primal Movement workout, and why is it trending?

Primal movement – lunges, squats, pushes, pulls, bend, core, and locomotion. The latest workout trend focuses on moving our bodies in the way they were intended to move. Just like babies, cats, and dogs that instinctually crawl, climb, and jump in ways their bodies were designed to, primal movement brings us back to a primitive approach that gets our heart pumping. And focuses on patterns of movement that we naturally have been doing for thousands of years.

Everything you need to know about what a primal movement workout is, why it's a hot fitness trend, and where to try it in NYC this summer.

Everything you need to know about what a primal movement workout is.

We love a fancy boutique workout, but exercise doesn’t need to be that complicated to reap the benefits. Life has become sedentary – computer work, long commutes, and excessive sitting have increased, leaving people with pain and discomfort. Simply moving away from a stationary lifestyle by practicing fundamental movements can improve physical function.

Since primal movements are moves we subconsciously practice daily, they can be easily translated to exercise and are shown in basic patterns like lunches and hinges. The problem is that these movements become more complicated when we age, making their proper incorporation even more crucial.

As we age, natural movements like bending over or picking things up become challenging. We typically blame age, but it often is caused by bad habits and not paying attention to the form we use when performing a task.

The benefits of a Primal Movement workout

The benefits are clear. Primal movement targets your whole body working analogously to a car tune-up. The movements translate directly outside the gym, allowing you to perform everyday actions efficiently.

The primal movement workout is a hot fitness trend this summer.

From waking up, sitting, walking, and lifting, primal movements improve strength, coordination, mobility, and movement patterns, creating a mind-body connection. Since primal movement mimics real-life moves, it increases awareness of how your body works and teaches you to move safely and purposefully. This decreases the chances of injuries and increases overall strength.

There are classes and workshops designed to focus on primal movement, but these exercises can also be done on your terms at a gym or at home. 

4 ways to try the Primal Movement workout this summer

1. Pure Strength

NYC-based health and fitness coach Jonathan Angelilli offers an array of fitness, nutrition, and wellness programs, with one focused on primal movement-based exercises.

Primal Shred is designed to help you lose weight but offers primal movement teachings to help with mind-body connections. His program focuses on rolling, crawling, twisting, and other developmental movements that detoxify your digestive system, decrease inflammation and increase your gut IQ, all of which help with weight loss and overall physical improvement.


Soho’s MOTIVNY offers various functional movement classes, including stretching, kettlebells, and cardio. Prioritizing strength, mobility, conditioning, and performance, MOTIVNY uses instinctual moves so that you have a better understanding of how to incorporate the basics into your weekly fitness routine. They also offer one-on-one coaching and physical therapy.

3. Animal Flow

Animal Flow focuses on a range of movements and combinations called the “Six Components.” They can be mixed and matched in different ways within your workouts.

Although in-person classes are in Boulder, Colorado, they offer virtual classes and workshops worldwide. 

4. Session

Brooklyn’s Session offers strength only, strength and conditioning classes, and kettlebell classes, all of which cover base movement patterns for a total-body experience.

There’s also a once-a-month class led by physical therapist Shaun Pamintuan that focuses on mobility and optimizing how you move and feel inside and outside the gym. The class highlights range of motion, stability, and body awareness, to maintain joint health and prevent injuries.

Up for trying a Primal Movement workout this summer?

That’s everything you need to know about what a primal movement workout is, why it’s a hot fitness trend, and where to try it in NYC this summer.

No class access? No problem. Primal movement exercises can be done on your own accord. Lift heavily, sprint occasionally, frequently walk slowly, and incorporate basic moves like pushups, pull-ups, planks, deadlifts, squats, and inchworms into your day-to-day for overall physical improvement.

Lauren Reiss

Lauren is a freelance social media manager and writer from New York. She enjoys traveling, skiing, the beach, and the sun and recently moved to San Diego.